Personal MBA Coach’s 4-Month MBA Application Plan

With just 4 months until the first fall ’18 application deadline (less if you are planning to apply to Columbia; early decision), now is the time to kick your application strategy into full gear (if you have not already)!

Unsure where to start? Personal MBA Coach has put together this 4-month plan to keep you on track:

Month 1 (May):

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  • Finalize your school lists:If you have not already finalized your school lists, now is the time to make these decisions. Essay questions will be available shortly, which will allow you to get a jump start on your applications, networking efforts and campus visits. Personal MBA Coach has published multiple articles to guide you through the school selection process, all included in our free: MBA Decision Making Guide.
  • Schedule campus visits:If you have not visited campuses and are in a geographic position to do so, schedule those visits now.
  • Finalize plans to take/re-take GMAT/GRE(if you have not already): By May, most of our candidates have already taken the GMAT/GRE. If you have not yet taken the test or are looking to improve your score, this is the time to do so.
  • Develop your MBA resume: All MBA applications require a resume. You may be thinking: “No problem, I already have a resume.” Unfortunately, it is not that easy. A business school resume differs from a professional one. Check-out these tips for customizing your business school resume.

Month 2 (June):

  • Develop your personal story and articulate your goals: Strong essays will almost always include a clear personal story and well-articulated career goals. Before you begin drafting, do some soul searching around what makes you unique and how exactly an MBA will position you for career success.
  • Nail down your recommenders: It goes without saying that strong letters of recommendation are key. If you have not already finalized your recommender list, now is the time. Unsure about who to select? Check-out our blog on selecting your recommenders.
  • Draft your essays: This one is pretty self-explanatory! As the essay questions are released, start drafting!

Month 3 (July):

  • Edit, edit, edit: This is the time to to perfect your essays! Most essays will require multiple drafts so plan accordingly.
  • Network with alumni and current students: Look for alumni and current students in your networks and schedule time for quick chats. The more you know about a school, the easier it will be to target your applications. Of course, even too much of a good thing can be detrimental, so do not go overboard here.

Month 4 (August):

  • Fill out your applications:Allow time for the short answer questions. The applications themselves can be quite detailed so do not save these extra questions for the last minute.
  • Proof: We do not recommend doing any major work in the last few weeks before submission. Substantial last-minute changes can often be rushed and lead to mistakes. Instead, take the time to carefully proof all of your application materials. Be sure to enlist a second or third reader, as it is difficult to spot errors in something you have read many times.
  • Ensure your LORs are all set: Check-in with your recommenders and make sure they have all of the information they need. Gently remind them of the upcoming dates to avoid any last-minute crunches.

For a more detailed and customized plan, and individualized support with various aspects of the MBA application process such as early planning, school selection, essay editing or interview preparation, visit Personal MBA Coach.

This article has been re-published from Personal MBA Coach’s blog.

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